While stepping out in a brand-new ensemble every day might seem like a glamorous idea, there are many benefits to rewearing your clothes. For one thing, maintaining a well-curated wardrobe will save you lots of money and closet space. It’s also more environmentally friendly to hold off on buying new clothes you don’t really need, particularly from unsustainable fast fashion brands.
Of course, it’s totally reasonable to get bored with your current wardrobe if you’re wearing the same outfits every day—even if these were looks you loved to start with. But the good news is that working with fewer clothes doesn’t mean that your style is destined to be boring or one-note. If you’re willing to get creative, you’ll soon discover that there are lots of things you can do to refresh your style without buying new clothes.
Start by experimenting with these five style tips:
Mix and Match Pieces
If you’re used to pairing specific tops with just one or two bottoms, it’s the perfect time to consider changing it up. That white button-up shirt you always wear to work over dark jeans will look just as put-together and professional when tucked into a pencil skirt instead. And those pretty minidresses you only ever bring out in the spring and summer? You can keep wearing them well into the colder months if you match them with a cozy cardigan and a pair of good tights for women. The bottom line is that mixing and matching your clothes will open up endless possibilities for styling even seemingly basic pieces.
One of the keys to mixing and matching like a pro is to revolve your outfits around versatile, classic wardrobe staples. There’s a reason items like a plain white tee, dark-wash jeans, denim shorts, and the good old little black dress basically never go out of style. These pieces go with pretty much everything and can serve as solid foundation pieces for all sorts of outfits. And once you’ve gotten used to working with the basics, you can try mixing prints or bright colors to achieve more daring combinations.
Change Up the Way You Wear Things
Sure, there’s a “right” way to wear most items of clothing, but it will also surprise you just how flexible certain items can be once you allow yourself to think outside the box. For instance, your favorite winter coat may serve you just as well as a dress if you simply button it up and belt it at the waist. A slinky bodycon skirt, meanwhile, might also work perfectly well as a tube top. And scarves that are traditionally meant to go around your neck will look just as good when worn as belts or headbands. Think beyond how your clothes and accessories are “supposed” to be worn, and you’ll instantly get much more mileage out of every piece.
Layering is one popular way to change up the way you wear particular items of clothing, particularly if you choose to layer in unusual ways. You may be used to wearing a pullover or cardigan over a sundress, for example, but have you ever tried transforming your dress into a cute pinafore by layering it over a long-sleeved shirt? A slouchy button-up shirt might also serve as a functional cover-up at the beach, particularly if it’s made from a breezy, breathable fabric like linen or chambray.
Rework Old or Damaged Pieces
As people all over the world become more concerned about sustainability, they’ve also become more willing to recycle and rework old clothes in order to avoid throwing them out. Reworking is the perfect solution if you want to breathe new life into old, well-loved pieces or if you’re trying to figure out how to salvage worn-out or damaged clothing. Cover up rips or holes in old jeans with scraps of cloth or even iron-on patches for a quirky, offbeat look—or you can cut the legs off entirely and make yourself a new pair of shorts. Some strategic cuts can also transform old T-shirts into off-shoulder tops or tanks.
Never underestimate the power of accessories to transform your entire look, even if you’re working with basically the same outfit multiple times. For example, a chunky statement necklace or a pair of intricate dangling earrings will make a bold statement, while more dainty jewelry like pearl earrings and simple pendant necklaces introduce a softer feel. And don’t experiment with just your jewelry; you may find it just as enjoyable to play with scarves, hats, sunglasses, and other items.
Play with Different Hairstyles
Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to refresh a tried-and-tested outfit without changing your clothes at all. Experimenting with your hair can also transform your look in subtle but undeniably impactful ways. Try tying your hair back in a ponytail or putting it up in a loose bun to give your outfit a more casual feel, or wear it down in elegant waves to elevate it.
At the end of the day, a little imagination is all you need to make reworn clothes look as good as new. Start by following the tips above, and you’ll doubtless discover even more fun ways to make your wardrobe work for you.